What is bullying?

By Lacey Thompson, YSB Behavioral Health Program Director

Bullying is usually seen as disrespectful and/or aggressive behavior that singles out an individual pr group. Bullying occurs when someone repeatedly uses threats, intimidation, or aggression to obtain objects, activities, or social gain from others.

What is bullying prevention?

As a response to bullying, bullying prevention brings strategies for reducing bullying behavior, especially in schools. October is observed as Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.

Why should we address bullying?

Bullying most often involves student-to-student interactions, and is noted by the National School Safety Center as the “most enduring and under-rated problem in U.S. schools.”[1] Over and over, the effects of bullying have been documented:

  • 25% to 30% of students report experiencing bullying behavior in schools
  • Both students who engage in bullying and students who experience bullying are more likely to experience school failure along with mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety
  • Bullying is not done by a small number of students who are socially and emotionally isolated, but is common across socio-economic status, gender, grade and class.

How common is bullying?

  • About 20% of students ages 12-18 report experiencing bullying nationwide.
  • The following percentages of students ages 12-18 had experienced bullying in various places but identified school as the main location
  • 46% of students ages 12-18 who were bullied during the school year said they notified an adult at school about the bullying.

What about cyber-bullying?

  • Among students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied at school during the school year, 15 % were bullied online or by text.
  • 9% of high school students report being electronically bullied in the 12 months

What can I do about bullying?

  • Remember the “Golden Rule”, treat others with respect and how you want to be treated
  • Stand up for others, speak out and reach out when you see bullying happening
  • Get involved with bullying prevention and lead by example

If you would like to know more about bullying prevention, ways to get involved or resources in your community, please visit a website below.